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Published March, 1904
SWALLOW (in color) Frontispiece
CROSBY DRIVES TO THE STATION 9
THE HANDS HAD GONE TO THEIR DINNER . . I4
THE BIG RED BARN 18
THE TWO BOYS 27
MRS. DELANCY AND MRS. AUSTIN 34
MR. AUSTIN 41
MRS. DELANCY PLEADS WITH SWALLOW ... 48
THEY EXAMINE THE DOCUMENTS 53
"she DELIBERATELY SPREAD OUT THE PAPERS
ON THE beam" (in color) . . . Facing 56
SHE WATCHES HIM DESCEND INTO DANGER . . 72
MR. CROSBY SHOWS SWALLOW A NEW TRICK . . 76
"swallow's CHUBBY BODY SHOT SQUARELY
THROUGH THE OPENING" (iN COLOR)
THE MAN WITH THE LANTERN 87
MR. HIGGINS 94
"he was splashing thkough the shallow
brook" (in color) Facing 96
HE CARRIES HER OVER THE BROOK 97
MRS. HIGGINS 98
THEY ENJOY MRS. HIGGINS's GOOD SUPPER . . lOI
THE DEPUTY SHERIFF . I23
CROSBY AND THE DEPUTY I29
MRS. DELANCY FALLS ASLEEP 133
THEY GO TO THE THE.VIRE 134
"'good heavens!' 'what is IT?' HE CRIED.
'you ARE NOT MARRIED, ARE YOU?'"
(in color) Facing 134
"CROSBY WON both SUITS" 137
THE DAY OF THE DOG
"I'll catch the first train back this even-
ing, Graves. Wouldn't go down there if it
were not absolutely necessary ; but I have
just heard that Mrs. Delancy is to leave for
New York to-night, and if I don't see her
to-day there will be a pack of troublesome
complications. Tell Mrs. Graves she can
count me in on the box party to-night."
"We'll need you, Crosby. Don't miss .
the train." I
10 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"1*11 be at the station an hour before the
train leaves. Confound it, it*s a mean trip
down there — three hours through the rank-
est kind of scenery and three hours back.
She's visiting in the country, too, but I can
drive out and back in an hour."
"On your life, old man, don't fail me."
"Don't worry. Graves ; all Christendom
couldn't keep me in Dexter after four
o'clock this afternoon. Good-by." And
Crosby climbed into the hansom and was
driven away at breakneck speed toward the
Crosby was the junior member of the law
firm of Rolfe & Crosby, and his trip to the
country was on business connected with the
settlement of a big estate. Mrs. Delancy,
THE DAY OF THE DOG 11
widow of a son of the decedent, was one of
the legatees, and she was visiting her sister-
in-law, Mrs. Robert Austin, in central
Illinois. Mr. Austin owned extensive farm-
ing interests near Dexter, and his hand-
some home was less than two miles from the
heart of the town. Crosby anticipated no
trouble in driving to the house and back in
time to catch the afternoon train for
Chicago. It was necessary for Mrs. De-
lancy to sign certain papers, and he was
confident the transaction could not occupy
more than half an hour's time.
At 11 :30 Crosby stepped from the coach
to the station platform in Dexter, looked
inquiringly about, and then asked a per-
spiring man with a star on his suspender-
12 THE DAY OF THE DOG
strap where he could hire a horse and buggy.
The officer directed him to a "feed-yard and
stable," but observed that there was a
"funeral in town an' he'd be lucky if he got
a rig, as all of Smith's horses were out."
Application «t the stable brought the first
frown to Crosby's brow. He could not rent
a "rig" until after the funeral, and that
would make it too late for him to catch the
four o'clock train for Chicago. To make
the story short, twelve o'clock saw him
trudging along the dusty road covering
the two miles between town and Austin's
place, and he was walking with the rapidity
of one who has no love for the beautiful.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 13
The early spring air was invigorating, and
it did not take him long to reduce the dis-
tance. Austin's house stood on a hill, far
back from the highway, and overlooking
the entire country-side.
The big red barn stood in from the road
a hundred yards or more, and he saw that
the same driveway led to the house on the
hill. There was no time for speculation, so
he hastily made his way up the lane. Cros-
by had never seen his client, their business
having been conducted by mail or through
Mr. Rolfe. There was not a person in
sight, and he slowed his progress considera-
bly as he drew nearer the big house. At
14 THE DAY OF THE DOG
the barn-yard gate he came to a full stop
and debated within himself the wisdom of
inquiring at the stables for Mr. Austin.
He flung open the gate and strode
quickly to the door. This he opened boldly
and stepped inside, finding himself in a
lofty carriage room. Several handsome
vehicles stood at the far end, but the wide
space near the door was clear. The floor
was as "clean as a pin," except along the
west side. No one was in sight, and the
only sound was that produced by the horses
as they munched their hay and stamped
their hoofs in impatient remonstrance with
"Where the deuce are the people?" he
THE DAY OF THE DOG 16
muttered as he crossed to the mangers.
"Devihsh qiieer," glancing about in con-
siderable doubt. "The hands must be at
dinner or taking a nap." He passed by a
row of mangers and was calmly inspected
by brown-eyed horses. At the end of the
long row of stalls he found a little gate
opening into another section of the barn.
He was on the point of opening this gate
to pass in among the horses when a low
growl attracted his attention. In some
alarm he took a precautionary look ahead.
On the opposite side of the gate stood a
huge and vicious looking bulldog, un-
chained and waiting for him with an eager
ferocity that could not be mistaken. Mr.
Crosby did not open the gate. Instead he
16 THE DAY OF THE DOG
inspected it to see that it was securely
fastened, and then drew his hand across his
"What an escape!" he gasped, after a
long breath. "Lucky for me you growled,
old boy. My name is Crosby, my dear sir,
and I'm not here to steal anything. I'm
only a lawyer. Anybody else at home but
An ominous growl was the answer, and
there was lurid disappointment in the face
of the squat figure beyond the gate.
"Come, now, old chap, don't be nasty.
I won't hurt you. There was nothing far-
ther from my mind than a desire to disturb
you. And sa}^, please do something besides
growl. Bark, and oblige me. You may
attract the attention of some one."
THE DAY OF THE DOG 17
By this time the ugly brute was trying
to get at the man, growling, and snarling
savagely. Crosby complacently looked on
from his place of safety for a moment, and
was on the point of turning away when his
attention was caught by a new move on the
part of the dog. The animal ceased his
violent efforts to get through the gate,
turned about deliberately, and raced from
view behind the horse stalls. Crosby
brought himself up with a jerk.
"Thunder," he ejaculated; "the brute
knows a way to get at me, and he won't be
long about it, either. What the dickens
shall I — by George, this looks serious !
He'll head me off at the door if I try to get
out and — Ah, the fire-escape! We'll fool
you, you brute ! What a cursed idiot I was
18 THE DAY OF THE DOG
not to go to the house instead of coming — "
He was shinning up a ladder with Httle re-
gard for grace as he mumbled this self-
condemnatory remark. There was little
dignity in his manner of flight, and there
was certainly no glory in the position in
which he found himself a moment later.
But there was a vast amount of satisfac-
The ladder rested against a beam that
crossed the carriage shed near the middle.
The beam was a large one, hewn from a
monster tree, and was free on all sides. The
ladder had evidently been left there by men
who had used it recently and had neglected
THE DAY OF THE DOG 19
to return it to the hooks on which it prop-
When the dog rushed violently through
the door and into the carriage room, he
found a vast and inexplicable solitude. He
was, to all appearances, alone with the vehi-
cles under which he was permitted to trot
when his master felt inclined to grant the
Crosby, seated on the beam, fifteen feet
above the floor, grinned securely but some-
what dubiously as he watched the mystified
dog below. At last he laughed aloud. He
could not help it. The enemy glanced up-
ward and blinked his red eyes in surprise;
then he stared in deep chagrin, then glared
20 THE DAY OF THE DOG
with rage. For a few minutes Crosby
watched his frantic efforts to leap through
fifteen feet of altitudinal space, confidently
hoping that some one would come to drive
the brute away and liberate him. Finally
he began to lose the good humor his strat-
egy in fooling the dog had inspired, and a
hurt, indignant stare was directed toward
the open door through which he had
"What's the matter with the idiots.?" he
growled impatiently. "Are they going to
let this poor dog snarl his lungs out.f* He's
a faithful chap, too, and a willing worker.
Gad, I never saw anything more earnest
than the way he tries to climb up that lad-
der." Adjusting himself in a comfortable
position, his elbows on his knees, his hands
to his chin, he allowed his feet to swing
THE DAY OF THE DOG 21
lazily, tantalizingly, below the beam. "I'm
putting a good deal of faith in this beam,"
he went on resignedly. The timber was at
least fifteen inches square.
"Ah, by George! That was a bully
jump — the best you've made. You didn't
miss me more than ten feet that time. I
don't like to be disrespectful, you know, but
you are an exceedingly rough looking dog.
Don't get huffy about it, old fellow, but
you have the ugliest mouth I ever saw.
Yes, you miserable cur, politeness at last
ceases to be a virtue with me. If I had you
up here I'd punch your face for you, too.
Why don't you come up, you coward?
You're bow-legged, too, and you haven't
any more figure than a crab. Anybody
that would take an insult like that is be-
neath me (thank heaven!) and would steal
22 THE DAY OF THE DOG
sheep. Great Scott! Where arc all these
people? Shut up, jou brute, you! I'm
getting a headaclie. But it doesn't do any
good to reason with you, I can see that
plainly. The thing I ought to do is to go
down there and punish you severely. But
ril— Hello! Hey, boy! Call off this
Two small Lord Fauntleroy boys were
standing in the door, gazing up at him
with wide open mouths and bulging eyes.
"Call him off, I say, or I'll come down
there and kick a hole clear through him."
The boys stared all the harder. "Is your
name Austin.'*" he demanded, addressing
neither in particular.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 23
"Yes, sir,'' answered the larger boy,
with an effort.
"Well, where's your father? Shut up,
you brute ! Can't you see I'm talking ? Go
tell your father I want to see him, boy."
"Dad's up at the house."
"That sounds encouraging. Can't you
call off this dog.?"
"I— I guess I'd better not. That's what
dad keeps him for."
"Oh, he does, eh? And what is it that
he keeps him for.'"'
"To watch tramps."
"To watch — to watch tramps? Say,
boy, I'm a lawyer and I'm here on busi-
THE DAY OF THE DOG
ness." He was black in the face with in-
"You better come up to the house and
see dad, then. He don't hvc in the barn,"
said the boy keenly.
"I can't fly to the house, boy. Say, if
you don't call off^ this dog I'll put a bullet
"You'd have to be a purty good shot,
mister. Nearly everybody in the county
has tried to do it." Both boys were grin-
ning diabolically and the dog took on en-
ergy through inspiration. Crosby longed
for a stick of dynamite.
'I'll give you a dollar if you get him
away from here."
"Let's see your dollar." Crosby drew a
THE DAY OF THE DOG 25
silver dollar from his trousers pocket,
almost falling from his perch in the
"Here's the coin. Call him off," gasped
"I'm afraid papa wouldn't like it," said
the boy. The smaller lad nudged his
brother and urged him to "take the money
"I live in Chicago," Crosby began, hop-
ing to impress the boys at least.
"So do we when we're at home," said the
smaller boy. "We live in Chicago in the
"Is Mrs. Delancy your aunt.'"'
'I'll give you this dollar if you'll tell
26 THE DAY OF THE DOG
jour father I'm here and want to see him
"Throw down your dollar." The coin
fell at their feet but rolled deliberately
through a crack in the floor and was lost
forever. Crosby muttered something unin-
telligible, but resignedly threw a second
coin after the first.
"He'll be out when he gets through din-
ner," said the older boy, just before the
fight. Two minutes later he was streaking
across the bam lot with the coin in his
pocket, the smaller boy wailing under the
woe of a bloody nose. For half an hour
Crosby heaped insult after insult upon the
THE DAY OF THE DOG 27
glowering dog at the bottom of the ladder
and was in the midst of a rabid denuncia-
tion of Austin when the city-bred farmer
entered the barn.
"Am I addressing Mr. Robert Austin.'*"
called Crosby, suddenly amiable. The dog
subsided and ran to his master's side. Aus-
tin, a black-moustached, sallow-faced man
of forty, stopped near the door and looked
"Where are you.'"' he asked somewhat
"I am very much up in the air," replied
Crosby. "Look a little sou' by sou'east.
Ah, now you have me. Can you manage
the dog.^* If so, I'll come down."
28 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"One moment, please. Who are you ?"
"My name is Crosby, of Rolfe & Crosby,
Chicago. I am here to see Mrs. Delancy,
your sister-in-law, on business before she
leaves for New York."
"What is your business with her, may I
"Private," said Crosby laconically.
"Hold the dog."
"I insist in knowing the nature of your
business," said Austin firmly.
"I'd rather come down there and talk, if
you don't mind."
"I don't but the dog may," said the
THE DAY OF THE DOG 29
"Well, this is a nice way to treat a gen-
tleman," cried Crosby wrathfully.
"A gentleman would scarcely have ex-
pected to find a lady in the barn, much less
on a cross-beam. This is where my horses
and dogs live."
"Oh, that's all right now; this isn't a
joke, you know."
"I quite agree with you. What is your
business with Mrs. Delancy.'"'
"We represent her late husband's inter-
ests in settling up the estate of his father.
Your wife's interests are being looked after
by Morton & Rogers, I believe. I am here
to have Mrs. Delancy go through the form
30 THE DAY OF THE DOG
of signing papers authorizing us to bring
suit against the estate in order to establish
certain rights of which you are fully aware.
Your wife's brother left his affairs slightly
tangled, you remember."
"Well, I can save you a good deal of
trouble. Mrs. Delancy has decided to let
the matter rest as it is and to accept the
compromise terms offered by the other heirs.
She will not care to see yoxiy for she has just
written to your firm announcing her deci-
"You — you don't mean it," exclaimed
Crosby in dismay. He saw a prodigious fee
slipping through his fingers. "Gad, I must
see her about this," he went on, starting
down the ladder, only to go back again
THE DAY OF THE DOG 31
hastily. The growhng dog leaped forward
and stood ready to receive him. Austin
"She really can't see you, Mr. Crosby.
Mrs. Delancy leaves at four o'clock for
Chicago, where she takes the Michigan Cen-
tral for New York to-night. You can gain
nothing by seeing her."
"But I insist, sir," exploded Crosby.
"You may come down when you like,"
said Austin. "The dog will be here until I
return from the depot after driving her
over. Come down when you like."
Crosby did not utter the threat that
surged to his lips. With the wisdom born
of self-preservation, he temporized, reserv-
ing deep down in the surging young breast
32 THE DAY OF THE DOG
a promise to amply recompense his pride
for the blows it was receiving at the hands
of the detestable Mr. Austin.
"You'll admit that I'm in a devil of a
pickle, Mr. Austin," he said jovially. "The
dog is not at all friendly."
"He is at least diverting. You won't be
lonesome while I'm away. I'll tell Mrs.
Delancy that you called," said Austin iron-
He turned to leave the barn, and the sin-
ister sneer on his face gave Crosby a new
and amazing inspiration. Like a flash
there rushed into his mind the belief that
Austin had a deep laid design in not per-
THE DAY OF THE DOG 33
mitting him to see the lady. With this
belief also came the conviction that he was
hurrying her off to New York on some
pretext simply to forestall any action that
might induce her to continue the contem-
plated suit against the estate. Mrs. De-
lancy had undoubtedly been urged to drop
the matter under pressure of promises, and
the Austins were getting her away from the
scene of action before she could reconsider
or before her solicitors could convince her
of the mistake she was making. The
thought of this sent the fire of resentment
racing through Crosby's brain, and he fair-
ly gasped with the longing to get at the
34 THE DAY OF THE DOG
bottom of the case. His only hope now lay
in sending a telegram to Mr. Rolfe, com-
manding him to meet Mrs. Delancy when
her train reached Chicago, and to lay the
whole matter before her.
Before Austin could make his exit the
voices of women were heard outside the door
and an instant later two ladies entered. The
farmer attempted to turn them back, but
the younger, taller, and slighter of the new-
comers cried :
"I just couldn't go without another look
at the horses. Bob."
Crosby, on the beam, did not fail to ob-
serve the rich, tender tone of the voice, and
it would have required almost total dark-
ness to obscure the beauty of her face. Her
companion was older and coarser, and he
THE DAY OF THE DOG 35
found delight in the belief that she was the
better half of the disagreeable Mr. Austin.
"Good-afternoon, Mrs. Delancy !" came
a fine masculine voice from nowhere. The
ladies started in amazement, Mr. Austin
ground his teeth, the dog took another tired
leap upward; Mr. Crosby took off his hat
gallantly, and waited patiently for the
lady to discover his whereabouts.
"Who is it, Bob?" cried the tall one, and
Crosby patted his bump of shrewdness
happily. "Who have you in hiding here.'"'
"I'm not in hiding, Mrs. Delancy. I'm
a prisoner, that's all. I'm right near the
top of the ladder directly in front of you.
You know me only through the mails, but
my partner, Mr. Rolfe, is known to you per-
sonally. My name is Crosby."
"How very strange," she cried in won-
36 THE DAY OF THE DOG
der. "Why don't you come down, Mr.
"I hate to admit it, but I'm afraid.
There's the dog, you know. Have you any
influence over him.'*"
"None whatever. He hates me. Per-
haps Mr. Austin can manage him. Oh,
isn't it ludicrous?" and she burst into
hearty laughter. It was a very musical
laugh, but Crosby considered it a disagree-
"But Mr. Austin declines to interfere. I
came to see you on private business and am
not permitted to do so."
"We don't know this fellow, Louise, and
I can't allow you to talk to him," said
Austin brusquely. "I found him where he
is and there he stays until the marshal
THE DAY OF THE DOG 37
comes out from town. His actions have
been very suspicious and must be investi-
gated. I can't take chances on letting a
horse thief escape. Swallow will watch him
until I can secure assistance."
"I implore you, Mrs. Delancy, to give
me a moment or two in which to explain,"
cried Crosby. "He knows I'm not here to
steal his horses, and he knows I intend to
punch his head the minute I get the
chance." Mrs. Austin's little shriek of dis-
may and her husband's fierce glare did not
check the flov/ of language from the beam.
"I am Crosby of Rolfe & Crosby, your
counsel. I have the papers here for you to
sign and "
"Louise, I insist that you come away
from here. This fellow is a fraud-
38 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"He's refreshing, at any rate," said Mrs.
Dclancy gaily. "There can be no harm in
hearing what he has to say, Bob."
"You are very kind, and I won't detain
"I've a mind to kick you out of this
barn," cried Austin angrily.
"I don't believe you're tall enough, my
good fellow." Mr. Crosby was more than
amiable. He was positively genial. Mrs.
Delancy's pretty face was the picture of
eager, excited mirth, and he saw that she
was determined to see the comedy to the end.
"Louise!" exclaimed Mrs. Austin, speak-
ing for the first time. "You are not fool
enough to credit this fellow's story, I'm
THE DAY OF THE DOG 39
sure. Come to the house at once. I will not
stay here." Mrs. Austin's voice was hard
and biting, and Crosby also caught the
quick glance that passed between husband
"I am sure Mrs. Delancy will not be so
unkind as to leave me after I've had so much
trouble in getting an audience. Here is my
card, Mrs. Delancy." Crosby tossed a card
from his perch, but Swallow gobbled it up
instantly. Mrs. Delancy gave a little cry
of disappointment, and Crosby promptly
apologized for the dog's greediness. "Mr.
Austin knows I'm Crosby," he concluded.
"I know nothing of the sort, sir, and I
forbid Mrs. Delancy holding further con-
40 THE DAY OF THE DOG
versation with you. This is an outrageous
imposition, Louise. You must hurry, by
the way, or we'll miss the train," said
Austin, biting his lip impatiently.
"That reminds me, I also take the four
o'clock train for Chicago, Mrs. Delancey.
If you prefer, we can talk over our affairs
on the train instead of here. I'll confess
this isn't a very dignified manner in which
to hold a consultation," said Crosby apolo-
"Will you be kind enough to state the
nature of your business, Mr. Crosby.'"' said
the young woman, ignoring Mr. Austin.
"Then you believe I'm Crosby.'*" cried
that gentleman triumphantly.
"Louise!" cried Mrs. Austin in despair.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 41
"In spite of your present occupation, I
believe you are Crosby," said Mrs. Delancy
"But, good gracious, I can't talk busi-
ness with you from this confounded beam,"
he cried lugubriously.
"Mr. Austin will call the dog away," she
said confidently, turning to the man in the
door. Austin's sallow face lighted with a
sudden malicious grin, and there was posi-
tive joy in his voice.
"You may be satisfied, but I am not. If
you desire to transact business with this
impertinent stranger, Mrs. Delancy, you'll
have to do so under existing conditions. I
do not approve of him or his methods, and
my dog doesn't either. You can trust a
42 THE DAY OF THE DOG
dog for knowing a man for what he is.
Mrs. Austin and I are going to the house.
You may remain, oj" course ; I have no right
to command you to follow. When you are
ready to drive to the station, please come to
the house. I'll be ready. Your Mr. Crosby
may leave when he likes — if he can. Come,
Elizabeth." With this defiant thrust, Mr.
Austin stalked from the barn, followed by
his wife. Mrs. Delancy started to follow
but checked herself immediately, a flush of
anger mounting to her brow. After a long
pause she spoke.
"I don't understand how you came to be
where you arc, Mr. Crosby," she said
slowly. He related his experiences rapidly
THE DAY OF THE DOG 43
and laughed with her simply because she
had a way with her.
"You'll pardon me for laughing," she
"With all my heart," he replied gal-
lantly. "It must be very funny. How-
ever, this is not business. You are in a
hurry to get away from here and — I'm not,
it seems. Briefly, Mrs. Delancy, I have the
papers you are to sign before we begin your
action against the Fairwater estate. You
know what they are through Mr. Rolfe."
"Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Crosby, to say to
you that I have decided to abandon the mat-
ter. A satisfactory compromise is under
44 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"So I've been told. But are you sure you
"Perfectly, thank you."
"This is a very unsatisfactory place from
which to argue my case, Mrs. Delancy.
Can't you dispose of the dog.?"
"Only God disposes."
"Well, do you mind telling me what the
compromise provides.'"' She stared at him
for a moment haughtily, but his smile won
the point for him. She told him everything
and then looked very much displeased when
he swore distinctly.
"Pardon me, but you are getting very
much the worst of it in this deal. It is the
most contemptible scheme to rob that I ever
heard of. By this arrangement you are to
THE DAY OF THE DOG 45
get farming lands and building lots in rural
towns worth in all about $100,000, I'd say.
Don't you know that you are entitled to
nearly half a million?"
"Oh, dear, no. By right, my share is
less than $75,000," she cried triumphantly.
"Who told you so?" he demanded, and
she saw a very heavy frown on his erstwhile
"Why — ^why, Mr. Austin and another
brother-in-law, Mr. Gray, both of whom are
very kind to me in the matter, I'm sure."
"Mrs. Delancy, you are being robbed by
these fellows. Can't you see that these
brothers-in-law and their wives will profit
immensely if they succeed in keeping the
wool over your eyes long enough? Let me
46 THE DAY OF THE DOG
show you some figures." He excitedly
drew a packet of papers from his pocket
and in five minutes' time had her gasping
with the knowledge that she was legally
entitled to more than half a million of
"Are you sure.?" she cried, unable to be-
lieve her ears.
"Absolutely. Here is the inventory and
here are the figures to corroborate every-
thing I say."
"But they had figures, too," she cried in
"Certainly. Figures are wonderful
things. I only ask you to defer this plan
THE DAY OF THE DOG 47
to compromise until we are able to thor-
oughly convince you that I am not mis-
representing the facts to you."
"Oh, if I could only believe you !"
"I'd toss the documents down to you if
I were not afraid they'd join my card.
That is a terribly ravenous beast. Surely
you can coax him out of the barn," he added
"I can try, but persuasion is difficult with
a bulldog, you know," she said doubtfully.
"It is much easier to persuade a man," she
"I trust you won't try to persuade me to
come down," he said in alarm.
48 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"Mr. Austin is a brute to treat you in
this manner," she cried indignantly.
"I wouldn't treat a dog as he is treating
"Oh, I am sure you couldn't," she cried
in perfect sincerity. "Swallow doesn't like
me, but I'll try to get him away. You can't
stay up there all night."
"By Jove!" he exclaimed sharply.
"What is it?" she asked quickly.
"I had forgotten an engagement in Chi-
cago for to-night. Box party at the
comic opera," he said, looking nervously at
"It would be too bad if you missed it,"
she said sweetly. "You'd be much more
comfortable in a box."
THE DAY OF THE DOG 49
*'You are consoling at least. Are you
going to coax him off?"
"In behalf of the box party, I'll try.
Come, Swallow. There's a nice doggie !"
Crosby watched the proceedings with
deepest interest and concern and not a little
admiration. But not only did Swallow re-
fuse to abdicate but he seemed to take de-
cided exceptions to the feminine method of
appeal. He evidently did not like to be
called "doggie," "pet," "dearie," and all
"He won't come," she cried plaintively.
"I have it!" he exclaimed, his face
brightening. "Will you hand me that
three-tined pitchfork over there.? With
that in my hands I'll make Swallow see
Look out ! For heaven's sake, don't go near
50 THE DAY OF THE DOG
him ! He'll Icill you." She had taken two
or three steps toward the dog, her hand ex-
tended pleadingly, only to be met by an
ominous growl, a fine display of teeth, and
a bristling back. As if paralyzed, she
halted at the foot of the ladder, terror sud-
denly taking possession of her.
"Can you get the pitchfork ?"
"I am afraid to move," she moaned. "He
is horrible — horrible !"
"I'll come down, Mrs. Delancy, and hang
the consequences," Crosby cried, and was
suiting the action to the word when she
cried out in remonstrance.
"Don't come down— don't! He'll kill
you. I forbid you to come down, Mr.
Crosby. Look at him! Oh, he's coming
toward me! Don't come down!" she
shrieked. "I'll come up!"
THE DAY OF THE DOG 51
Grasping her skirts with one hand she
started frantically up the ladder, her terri-
fied eyes looking into the face of the man
above. There was a vicious snarl from the
dog, a savage lunge, and then something
closed over her arm like a vice. She felt
herself being jerked upward and a second
later she was on the beam beside the flushed
young man whose strong hand and not the
dog's jaws had reached her first. He was
obliged to support her for a few minutes
with one of his emphatic arms, so near was
she to fainting.
"Oh," she gasped at last, looking into his
eyes questioningly. "Did he bite me? I
was not sure, you know. He gave such an
awful leap for me. How did you do it.''"
"A simple twist of the wrist, as the
prestidigitators say. You had a close call,
my dear Mrs. Delancy." He was a-quiver
62 THE DAY OF THE DOG
with new sensations that were sending his
spirits sky high. After all it was not turn-
ing out so badly.
"He would have dragged me down had
it not been for you. And I might have been
torn to pieces," she shuddered, glancing
down at the now infuriated dog.
"It would have been appalling," he
agreed, discreetly allowing her to imagine
"How can I ever thank you.''" cried she
impulsively. He made a very creditable
show of embarrassment in the effort to con-
vince her that he had accomplished only
what any man would have attempted under
^ similar circumstances. She was thoroughly
I convinced that no other man could have suc-
THE DAY OF THE DOG 53
"Well, we're in a pretty position, are we
not?" he asked in the end.
"I think I can stick on without being
held, Mr. Crosby," she said, and his arm
slowly and regretfully came to parade
"Are you sure you won't get dizzy.?" he
demanded in deep solicitude.
"I'll not look down," she said, smiling
into his eyes. He lost the power of speech
for a moment. "May I look at those fig-
For the next ten minutes she studiously
followed him as he explained the contents
of the various papers. She held the sheets
and they sat very close to each other on the
big beam. The dog looked on in sour dis-
"They cannot be wrong," she cried at
64 THE DAY OF THE DOG
last. Her eyes were sparkling. "You are
as good as an angel."
"I only regret that I can't complete the
illusion by unfolding a strong and conve-
nient pair of wings," he said dolorously.
*'How are we to catch that train for Chi-
"I'm afraid we can't," she said demurely.
''You'll miss the box party."
"That's a pleasure easily sacrificed."
"Besides, you are seeing me on business.
Pleasure should never interfere with busi-
ness, you know."
"It doesn't seem to," he said, and the
dog saw them smile tranquilly into each
THE DAY OF THE DOG 55
"Oh, isn't this too funny for words?"
He looked very grateful.
*'I wonder when Austin will condescend to
"I have come to a decision, Mr. Crosby,"
she said irrelevantly.
"I shall never speak to Robert Austin
again, and I'll never enter his house as long
as I live," she announced determinedly.
"Good! But you forget your personal
effects. They are in his house." He was
overflowing with happiness.
"They have all gone to the depot and I
have the baggage checks. My ticket and
56 THE DAY OF THE DOG
my money are in this purse. You see, we
are quite on the same footing."
"I don't feel sure of my footing," he
commented ruefully. "By the way, I have
a fountain pen. Would you mind signing
these papers.'' We'll be quite sure of our
standing at least."
She deliberately spread out the papers on
the beam, and, while he obligingly kept her
from falling, signed seven documents in a
full, decisive hand: "Louise Hampton
"There! That means that you are to
begin suit," she said finally, handing the
pen to him.
"I'll not waste an instant," he said
SHE DELIBERATELY SPREAD OUT THE PAPERS ON THE
THE DAY OF THE DOG 57
meaningly. "In fact, the suit is already
"I don't understand you," she said, but
"That's what a lawyer says when he goes
to court," he explained.
"Oh," she said, thoroughly convinced.
At the end of another hour the two on
the beam were looking at each other with
troubled eyes. When he glanced at his
watch at six o'clock, his face was extremely
sober. There was a tired, wistful expres-
sion in her eyes.
"Do you think they'll keep us here all
night.'"' she asked plaintively.
68 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"Heaven knows what that scoundrel will
"We have the papers signed, at any
rate." She sighed, trying to revive the
dying spark of humor.
"And we won't be lonesome," he added,
glaring at the dog.
"Did you ever dream that a man could be
"Ah, here comes some one at last," he
cried, brightening up.
The figure of Robert Austin appeared
in the doorway.
"Oho, you're both up there now, are
you.'"' he snapped. "That's why you
THE DAY OF THE DOG 59
didn't go to the depot, is it? Well, how
has the business progressed?"
"She has signed all the papers, if that's
what you want to know," said Crosby tan-
"That's all the good it will do her. We'll
beat you in court, Mr. Crosby, and we won't
leave a dollar for you, my dear sister-in-
law," snarled Austin, his face white with
"And now that we've settled our business,
and missed our train, perhaps you'll call off
your confounded dog," said Crosby.
Austin's face broke into a wide grin, and he
chuckled aloud. Then he leaned against
the door-post and held his sides.
60 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"What's the joke?" demanded the irate
Crosby. Mrs. Delancy clasped his arm and
looked down upon Austin as if he had sud-
denly gone mad.
"You want to come down, eh.?" cackled
Austin. "Why don't you come down? I
know you'll pardon my laughter, but I have
just remembered that you may be a horse
thief and that I was not going to let you
escape. Mrs. Delancy refuses to speak
to me, so I decline to ask her to come
"Do you mean to say you'll keep this
lady up here for — ^" began Crosby fiercely.
Her hand on his arm prevented him from
leaping to the floor.
J "She may come down when she desires,
THE DAY OF THE DOG 61
and so may you, sir," roared Austin
"But some one will release us, curse you,
and then I'U make you sorry you ever
lived," hissed Crosby, "You are a black-
hearted cur, a cowardly dog "
"Don't — don't!" whispered the timid
woman beside him.
"You are helping your cause beauti-
fully," sneered Austin. "My men have in-
structions to stay away from the barn until
the marshal comes. I, myself, expect to
feed and bed the horses."
Deliberately he went about the task of
feeding the horses. The two on the beam
looked on in helpless silence. Crosby had
murder in his heart. At last the
62 THE DAY OF THE DOG
master of the situation started for the
"Good-night," he said sarcastically.
"You brute," cried Crosby, hoarse with
anger. A sob came from his tired com-
panion and Crosby turned to her, his heart
full of tenderness and — shame, perhaps.
Tears were streaming down her cheeks and
her shoulders drooped dejectedly.
"What shall we do.''" she moaned.
Crosby could frame no answer. He gently
took her hand in his and held it tightly.
She made no effort to withdraw it.
"I'm awfully sorry," he said softly.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 63
"Don't cry, little woman. It will all end
right, I know."
Just then Austin reentered the barn.
Without a word he strode over and emptied
a pan of raw meat on the floor in front of
the dog. Then he calmly departed, but
Crosby could have sworn he heard him
chuckle. The captives looked at each other
dumbly for a full minute, one with wet,
wide-open, hurt eyes, the other with con-
sternation. Gradually the sober light in
their eyes faded away and feeble smiles de-
veloped into peals of laughter. The irony
of the situation bore down upon them irre-
sistibly and their genuine, healthy young
64 THE DAY OF THE DOG
minds saw the picture in all of its ludicrous
colorings. Not even the prospect of a
night in mid-air could conquer the wild de-
sire to laugh.
"Isn't it too funny for words?" she
laughed bravely through her tears.
Then, for some reason, both relapsed into
dark, silent contemplation of the dog who
was so calmly enjoying his evening repast.
"I am sorry to admit it, Mr. Crosby, but
I am growing frightfully hungry," she
"It has just occurred to me that I haven't
eaten a bite since seven o'clock this morn-
ing," he said.
"You poor man ! I wish I could cook
something for you."
THE DAY OF THE DOG 65
"You might learn."
"You know what I mean," she explained,
reddening a bit. "You must be nearly
"I prefer to think of something more in-
teresting," he said coolly.
"It is horrid!" she sobbed. "See, it is
getting dark. Night is coming. Mr.
Crosby, what is to become of us?" He was
very much distressed by her tears and a des-
perate resolve took root in his breast. She
was so tired and dispirited that she seemed
glad when he drew her close to him and
pressed her head upon his shoulder. He
heard the long sigh of relief and relaxation
and she peered curiously over her wet lace
handkerchief when he muttered tenderly:
66 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"Poor little chap !"
Then she sighed again quite securely,
and there was a long silence, broken regu-
larly and rhythmically by the faint little
catches that once were tearful sobs.
"Oh, dear me! It is quite dark," she
cried suddenly, and he felt a shudder run
through her body.
"Where could you go to-night, Mrs.
Delancy, if we were to succeed in getting
away from here.?" he asked abruptly.
She felt his figure straighten and his arm
grow tense as if a sudden determination had
charged through it.
"Why — why, I hadn't thought about
that," she confessed, confronted by a new
THE DAY OF THE DOG 67
"There's a late night train for Chicago,"
"But how are we to catch it?"
"If you are willing to walk to town I
think you can catch it," he said, a strange
ring in his voice.
"What do you mean.''" she demanded,
looking up at his face quickly.
"Can you walk the two miles.?" he per-
sisted. "The train leaves Dexter at eleven
o'clock and it is now nearly eight."
"Of course I can walk it," she said
eagerly. "I could walk a hundred miles to
get away from this place."
"You'll miss the New York train, of
"I've changed my mind, Mr. Crosby. I
68 THE DAY OF THE DOG
shall remain in Chicago until we have had
our revenge on Austin and the others."
"That's very good of you. May I ask
where you stop in Chicago.'"'
"My apartments are in the C
Building. My mother lives with me."
"Will you come to see me some time.?" he
asked, an odd smile on his lips.
"Come to see you ?" she cried in surprise.
"The idea! What do you mean,?"
"I may not be able to call on you for
some time, but you can be very good to me
by coming to see me. I'll be stopping at
St. Luke's Hospital for quite a while."
"At St. Luke's Hospital.? I don't under-
stand," she cried perplexed.
"You see, my dear Mrs. Delancy, I have
come to a definite conclusion in regard to
our present position. You must not stay
THE DAY OF THE DOG 69
here all night. I'd be a coward and a cur to
subject you to such a thing. Well, I'm
going down to tackle that dog."
"To — tackle — the — dog," she gasped.
"And while I'm keeping him busy
you are to cut and run for the road down
there. Then you'll have easy sailing for
"Mr. Crosby," she said firmly, clasping
his arm; "you are not to leave this beam.
Do you think I'll permit you to go down
there and be torn to pieces by that beast,
just for the sake of letting me cut and run,
as you call it? I'd be a bigger brute than
the dog and — and "
"Mrs. Deiancy, my mind is made up.
I'm going down !"
"That settles it! I'm coming too," she
70 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"To be sure. That's the plan. You'll
escape while I hold Swallow."
"I'll do nothing of the sort. You shall
not sacrifice yourself for my sake. I'd stay
up here with you all the rest of my life
before I'd permit you to do that."
"I'll remind you of that offer later on,
my dear Mrs. Delancy, when we are not
so pressed for time. Just now you must
be practical, however. We can't stay up
here all night."
"Please, Mr. Crosby, for my sake, don't
go down there. To please me, don't be dis-
figured. I know you are awfully brave and
strong, but he is such a huge, vicious dog.
Won't you please stay here.'"'
"Ten minutes from now it will be too
THE DAY OF THE DOG 71
dark to see the dog and he'll have an ad-
vantage over me. Listen : I'll meet you at
the depot in an hour and a half. This is
final, Mrs. Delancy. Will you do as I tell
you.'' Run for the road and then to town.
I'll promise to join you there."
"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" she moaned, as
he drew away from her and swung one foot
to the ladder. "I shall die if you go down
"I am going just the same. Don't be
afraid, little woman. My pocket knife is
open and it is a trusty blade. Now, be
brave and be quick. Follow me down the
ladder and cut for it."
"Please, please, please!" she implored,
wringing her hands.
72 THE DAY OF THE DOG
But he was already half-way down the
ladder and refused to stop.
Suddenly Crosby paused as if checked
in his progress by some insurmountable ob-
stacle. The dog was at the foot of the lad-
der, snarling with joy over the prospective
end of his long vigil. Above, Mrs. Delancy
was moaning and imploring him to come
back to her side, even threatening to spring
from the beam to the floor before he could
reach the bottom.
"By George!" he exclaimed, and then
climbed up three or four rounds of the lad-
der, greatly to the annoyance of the dog.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 73
"What is it?" cried Mrs. Delancy, re-
covering her balance on the beam.
"Let me think for a minute," he an-
swered, deliberately resting his elbow on an
"It is about time you were doing a little
thinking," she said, relief and asperity in
her voice. "In another second I should have
jumped into that dog's jaws."
"I beheve it can be done," he went on, ex-
cited enthusiasm growing in his voice.
"That's what bulldogs are famous for, isn't
"I don't know what you are talking
about, but I do know that whenever they
take hold of anything they have to be
74 THE DAY OF THE DOG
treated for lockjaw before they will let go.
If you don't come up here beside me I'll
have a fit, Mr. Crosby."
"That's it— that's what I mean," he
cried eagerly. "If they close those jaws
upon anything they won't let go until death
them doth part. Gad, I believe I see a way
out of this pickle."
"I don't see how that can help us. The
dog's jaws are the one and only obstacle,
and it is usually the other fellow's death
that parts them. Oh," she went on, plain-
tively, "if we could only pull his teeth.
Good heaven, Mr. Crosby," sitting up very
abruptly, "you are not thinking of under-
taking it, are you.''"
THE DAY OF THE DOG 75
**No, but I've got a scheme that will make
Swallow ashamed of himself to the end of
his days. I can't help laughing over it."
He leaned back and laughed heartily.
"Hold my coat, please." He removed his
coat quickly and passed it up to her.
"I insist on knowing what you intend do-
ing," she exclaimed.
"Just wait and see me show Mr. Swallow
a new trick or two." He had already taken
his watch and chain, his fountain pen, and
other effects from his vest, jamming them
into his trousers pockets. Mrs. Delancy, in
the growing darkness, looked on, puzzled
"You might tell me," she argued resent-
76 THE DAY OF THE DOG
fully. "Are you going to try to swim
Folding the vest lengthwise, he took a
firm grip on the collar, and cautiously de-
scended the ladder.
"I'll not come to the hospital," she cried
warningly. "Don't ! he'll bite your leg
"I'm merely teasing him, Mrs. Delancy.
He sha'n't harm my legs, don't fear. Now
watch for developments." Pausing just
beyond reach of the dog's mightiest leaps,
he took a firm hold on the ladder and swung
down with the vest until it almost slapped
the head of the angry animal. It was like
casting a fly directly at the head of a hun-
THE DAY OF THE DOG 77
gry pickerel. Swallow's eager jaws closed
down upon the cloth and the teeth met like
a vice. The heavy body of the brute almost
jerked Crosby's arm from the socket, but
he braced himself, recovered his poise, and
clung gaily to the ladder, with the growl-
ing, squirming dog dangling free of the
floor. Mrs. Delancy gave a little shriek of
"Are you — going to bring him up here.'*"
"Heaven knows where he'll end."
"But he will ruin your vest."
"I'll charge it up to your account. Item :
one vest, fifteen dollars."
78 THE DAY OF THE DOG
By this time he was swinging Swallow
slowly back and forth, and he afterwards
said that it required no little straining of
"You extravagant thing !" she cried, but
did not tell whether she meant his profligacy
in purchasing or his wantonness in destroy-
ing, "And now, pray enlighten me. Are
you swinging him just for fun or are you
"Everything depends on his jaws and my
strong right arm," he said, and he was be-
ginning to pant from the exertion. Swal-
low was swinging higher and higher.
"Well, it is the most aimless proceeding I
THE DAY OF THE DOG 79
**I hope not. On second thought, every-
thing depends on my aim."
"And what is your aim, Mr. Hercules.'"'
"See that opening above the box-stall
"That's my aim. Heavens, he's a heavy
"Oh, I see!" she cried ecstatically, clap-
ping her hands. "Delicious! Lovely! Oh,
Mr. Crosby, you are so clever."
"Don't fall off that beam, please," he
panted. "It might rattle me."
"I can't help being excited. It is the
grandest thing I ever heard of. He can't
get out of there, can he.'* Dear me, the
sides of that stall are more than eight feet
80 THE DAY OF THE DOG
**He can't — get — out — of it if — I get
him — in," gasped Crosby.
Not ten feet away to the left and some
four feet above the floor level there was a
wide opening into a box-stall, the home of
Mr. Austin's prize stallion. As the big
horse was inside munching his hay, Crosby
was reasonably sure that the stall with
its tall sides was securely closed and
Suddenly there was a mighty creak of
the ladder, the swish of a heavy body
through the air, an interrupted growl, and
then a ripping thud. Swallow's chubby
body shot squarely through the opening,
SWALLOW S CHUBBY BODY SHOT SQUARELY THROUGH
THE DAY OF THE DOG 81
accompanied by a trusty though somewhat
sadly stretched vest, and the deed was done.
A cry of dehght came from the beam, a
shout of pride and rehef from the ladder,
and sounds of a terrific scramble from the
stall. First there was a sickening grunt,
then a surprised howl, then the banging of
horse-hoofs, and at last a combination of
growls and howls that proved Swallow's in-
vasion of a hornet's nest.
"Thunderation !" came in sharp, agon-
ized tones from the ladder.
"What is the matter?" she cried, detect-
ing disaster in the exclamation.
"I am a — a — blooming idiot," he
82 THE DAY OF THE DOG
groaned. "I forgot to remove a roll of bills
from an upper pocket in that vest !"
"Oh, is that all?" she cried, in great re-
lief, starting down the ladder.
"All.'' There was at least fifty dollars
in that roll," he said, from the floor, not
forgetting to assist her gallantly to the
"You can add it to my bill, you know,"
she said sweetly.
"But it leaves me dead broke."
"You forget that I have money, Mr.
Crosby. What is mine to-night is also
yours. I think we should shake hands and
congratulate one another." Crosby's sunny
nature lost its cloud in an instant, and the
I two clasped hands at the bottom of the
THE DAY OF THE DOG 83
*'I think it is time to cut and run," he
said. "It's getting so beastly dark we
won't be able to find the road."
"And there is no moon until midnight.
But come ; we are free. Let us fly the hated
spot, as they say in the real novels. How
good the air feels !"
She was soon leading the way swiftly
toward the gate. Night had fallen so
quickly that they were in utter darkness.
There were lights in the windows of the
house on the hill, and the escaped prisoners,
with one impulse, shook their clenched
hands toward them.
"I am awfully sorry, Mr. Crosby, that
you have endured so much hardship in com-
ing to see me," she went on. "I hope you
haven't many such clients as I."
84 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"One is enough, I assure you," he re-
sponded, and somehow she took it as a com-
"I suppose our next step is to get to the
railway station," she said.
"Unless you will condescend to lead me
through this assortment of plows, wood-
piles, and farm-wagons, I'm inclined to
think my next step will be my last. Was
ever night so dark.?" Her warm, strong
fingers clutched his arm and then dropped
to his hand. In this fashion she led him
swiftly through the night, down a short
embankment, and into the gravel highway.
"The way looks dark and grewsome ahead
of us, Mrs. Delancy. As your lawyer, I'd
advise you to turn back and find safe lodg-
ing with the enemy. It is going to storm,
THE DAY OF THE DOG 85
"That's your advice as a lawyer, Mr.
Crosby. Will you give me your advice as
a friend?" she said lightly. Although the
time had passed when her guiding hand was
necessary, he still held the member in his
"I couldn't be so selfish," he protested,
and without another word they started off
down the road toward town.
"Do you suppose they are delaying the
opera in Chicago until you come.'"' she
"Poor Graves! he said he'd kill me if I
didn't come," said Crosby, laughing.
"How dreadful !"
"But I'm not regretting the opera.
Quive does not sing until to-morrow night."
"I adore Quive."
"You can't possibly have an engagement
86 THE DAY OF THE DOG
for to-morrow night either," he said re-
"I don't see how I could. I expected to
be on a Pullman sleeper."
"I'll come for you at 8 :15 then."
"You are very good, Mr. Crosby, but I
have another plan."
"I beg your pardon for presuming to — "
he began, and a hot flush mounted to his
"You are to come at seven for dinner,"
she supplemented delightedly.
"What a nice place the seventh heaven
is !" he cried warmly.
"Sh !" she whispered suddenly, and both
stopped stock-still. "There is a man with
la lantern at the lower gate. See.? Over
THE DAY OF THE DOG 87
"What of it? Who's afraid of a lan-
"But it is rather odd that the man should
be there. Just see what he is doing with
the lantern," she expostulated.
"He's putting it on the top of the gate-
post, that's all."
"Well, there must be an object in that."
"I'll ask the man."
"It is foolish of me to be alarmed, Mr.
Crosby, but I feel in my bones that some-
thing is going to happen."
"I agree with you, only I don't feel it in
my bones. It affects my stomach. Why
should we stand here and discuss a man
with a lantern when both of us are starving
to death by yards? We have a mile and a
half walk ahead of us-
"Look ! A buggy is stopping at the gate
88 THE DAY OF THE DOG
— and there is another. What does it
Two vehicles, dimly outlined against the
darkness, had drawn up at the gate, and the
man with the lantern advanced to converse
with the occupants.
"That you, Mr. Austin.?" called a
voice from the first buggy, as the lantern
"Yes. How many men have you with
"Robert Austin!" gasped the fair
watcher, clutching Crosby's arm.
"There are five of us, Mr. Austin. I
guess we can take him all right."
Crosby started violently.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 89
"They're after me, Mrs. Delancy," he
whispered. A moment later they were off
the road and in the dense shadow of the
"Is he still in the barn, Mr. Austin?"
demanded the man in the buggy.
"I am positive he is. No human being
could get away frOm that dog of mine."
Crosby chuckled audibly, and Mrs. Delancy
with difficulty suppressed a proud giggle.
"Well, we might as well go up and get
him then. Do you think he's a desperate
"I don't know anything about him,
Davis. He says he is a lawyer, but his
actions were so strange that I thought you'd
90 THE DAY OF THE DOG
best look into his case. A night in the jail
won't hurt him, and if he can prove that he
is what he says he is, let him go to-morrow.
On the other hand, he may turn out to be a
very important capture."
"Oh, this is rich !" whispered Croeby ex-
citedly. "Austin is certainly doing the job
up brown. But wait till he consults Swal-
low, the infallible ; he won't be so positive."
For a few minutes the party of men at the
gate conversed in low tones, the listeners
being able to catch but few of the words
"Please let go of my arm, Mrs. De-
lancy," said Crosby suddenly.
"Where are you going?"
"I am going to tell Austin what I think
THE DAY OF THE DOG 91
of him. You don't expect me to stand by
and allow a pack of jays to hunt me down
as if I were Jesse James or some other des-
perado, do you?"
"Do you suppose they would credit your
story? They will throw you into jail and
there you'd stay until some one came down
from Chicago to identify you."
"But a word from you would clear me,"
he said in surprise.
"If they pinned me down to the truth, I
could only say I had never seen you until
"Great Scott! You know I am Crosby,
"I am positive you are, but what would
you, as a lawyer, say to me if you were
92 THE DAY OF THE DOG
cross-examining me on the witness stand?
You'd ask some very embarrassing ques-
tions, and I could only say in the end that
the suspected horse thief told me his name
and I was goose enough to believe him. No,
my dear friend, I think the safest plan is to
take advantage of the few minutes' start we
have and escape the law."
**You mean that I must run from these
fellows as if I were really a thief.'"'
"Only a suspected thief, you know."
"I'd rather be arrested a dozen times than
to desert you at this time."
"Oh, but I'm going with you," she said
"Like a thief, too.'' I could not permit
THE DAY OF THE DOG 93
that, you know. Just stop and think how
awkward for you it would be if we were
caught flying together."
"Birds of a feather. It might have been
worse if you had not disposed of Swallow."
"I must tell you what a genuine brick
you are. If they overtake us it will give
me the greatest delight in the world to fight
the whole posse for your sake."
"After that, do you wonder I want to go
with you.''" she whispered, and Crosby
would have fought a hundred men for her.
The marshal and his men were now fol-
lowing Mr. Austin and the lantern toward
the barn, and the road was quite deserted.
Mrs. Delancy and Crosby started oflF
94 THE DAY OF THE DOG
rapidly in the direction of the town. The
low rumble of distant thunder came to their
ears, and ever and anon the western black-
ness was faintly illumined by flashes of
lightning. Neither of the fugitives uttered
a word until they were far past the gate.
"By George, Mrs. Delancy, we are for-
getting one important thing," said Crosby.
They were striding along swiftly arm in
arm. "They'll discover our flight, and the
railway station will be just where they'll
expect to find us."
"Oh, confusion ! We can't go to the sta-
tion, can we.?"
"We can, but we'll be captured with
"I know what we can do. Scott
THE DAY OF THE DOG 95
Higgins is the tenant on my farm, and he
lives half a mile farther from town than
Austin. We can turn back to his place, but
we will have to cut across one of Mr.
"Charming. We can have the satisfac-
tion of trampling on some of Mr. Austin's
early wheat crop. Right about, face! But,
incidentally, what are we to do after we get
to Mr. Higgins's?" They were now scurry-
ing back over the ground they had just
"Oh, dear me, why should we think about
troubles until we come to them.'"'
"I wasn't thinking about troubles. I'm
thinking about something to eat."
"You are intensely unromantic. But
96 THE DAY OF THE DOG
Mrs. Higgins is awfully good. She will
give us eggs and cakes and milk and coffee
and — everything. Won't it be jolly?"
Five minutes later they were plunging
through a field of partly grown wheat, in
what she averred to be the direction of the
Higgins home. It was not good walking,
but they were young and strong and very
much interested in one another and the
"Hello, what's this.? A river.?" he cried,
as the swish of running waters came to his
"Oh; isn't it dreadful? I forgot this
creek was here, and there is no bridge nearer
than a mile. What shall we do? See there
is a light in Higgins's house over there.
HE WAS SPLASHING THROUGH THK SHALLOW UUOOK.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 97
Isn't it disgusting? I could sit down and
cry," she wailed. In the distance a dog was
heard barking fiercely, but they did not
recognize the voice of Swallow. A new
trouble confronted them.
"Don't do that," he said resignedly.
"Remember how Eliza crossed the ice with
the bloodhounds in full trail. Do you know
how deep and wide the creek is?"
"It's a tiny bit of a thing, but it's wet,"
she said ruefully.
"I'll carry you over." And a moment
later he was splashing through the shallow
brook, holding the lithe, warm figure of
his client high above the water. As he set
her down upon the opposite bank she gave
a pretty sigh of satisfaction, and naively
98 THE DAY OF THE DOG
told him that he was very strong for a man
in the last stages of starvation.
Two or three noisy dogs gave them the
first welcome, and Crosby sagely looked
aloft for refuge. His companion quieted
the dogs, however, and the advance on the
squat farmhouse was made without resist-
ance. The visitors were not lohg in ac-
quainting the good-natured and astonished
young farmer with the situation. Mrs.
Higgins was called from her bed and in a
jiffy was bustling about the kitchen, from
which soon floated odors so tantalizing that
the refugees could scarcely suppress the de-
sire to rush forth and storm the good cook
in her castle.
"It's mighty lucky you got here when
you did, Mrs. Delancy," said Higgins,
THE DAY OF THE DOG 99
peering from the window. "Looks 's if it
might rain before long. We ain't got much
of a place here, but, if you'll put up with
it, I guess we can take keer of you over
"Oh, but we couldn't think of it," she
protested. "After we have had something
to eat we must hurry off to the station."
"What station.'"' asked Crosby senten-
"I don't know, but it wouldn't be a bit
nice to spoil the adventure by stopping
"But we can't walk all over the State
of Illinois," he cried.
"For shame! You are ready to give up
the instant something to eat comes in
sight. Mr. Higgins may be able to sug-
gest something. What is the nearest "
*I have it," interrupted Crosby. "The
100 THE DAY OF THE DOG
Wabash road runs through this neighbor-
hood, doesn't it? Well, where is its nearest
"Lonesomeville — about four miles
south," said Higgins.
"Do the night trains stop there?"
"I guess you can flag 'em."
"There's an east-bound train from St.
Louis about midnight, I'm quite sure."
While the fugitives were enjoying Mrs.
Higgins's hastily but adorably prepared
meal, the details of the second stage of the
flight were perfected. Mr. Higgins gladly
consented to hitch up his high-boarded farm
wagon and drive them to the station on the
Wabash line, and half an hour later Hig-
THE DAY OF THE DOG 101
gins's wagon clattered away in the night.
To all appearances he was the only passen-
ger. But seated on a soft pile of grain
sacks in the rear of the wagon, completely
hidden from view by the tall "side-beds,"
were the refugees. Mrs. Delancy insisted
upon this mode of travel as a precaution
against the prying eyes of persistent mar-
shal's men. Hidden in the wagon-bed they
might reasonably escape detection, she
argued, and Crosby humored her for more
reasons than one. Higgins threw a huge
grain tarpaulin over the wagon-bed, and
they were sure to be dry in case the rain-
storm came as expected. It was so dark that
neither could see the face of the other. He
102 THE DAY OF THE DOG
had a longing desire to take her hand into
his, but there was something in the atmos-
phere that warned him against such a de-
hghtful but unnecessary proceeding.
Naturally, they were sitting quite close to
each other; even the severe jolting of the
springless wagon could not disturb the feel-
ing of happy contentment.
"I hope it won't storm," she said ner-
vously, as a little shudder ran through her
body. The wind was now blowing quite
fiercely and those long-distant rolls of thun-
der were taking on the sinister sound of
near-by crashes. "I don't mind thunder
when I'm in the house."
"And under the bed, I suppose," he
THE DAY OF THE DOG 103
"Well, you know, lightning could strike
this wagon," she persisted. "Oh, goodness,
that was awfully close!" she cried, as a
particularly loud crash came to their ears.
The wagon came to an abrupt stop, and
Crosby was about to crawl forth to demand
the reason when the sound of a man's voice
came through the rushing wind.
"What is it?" whispered Mrs. Delancy,
clutching his arm.
"Sh !" he replied. "We're held up by
highwaymen, I think !"
"Oh, how lovely!" she whispered rap-
"How far are you goin'.?" came the
strange voice from the night.
"Oh, 's far ag'in as half," responded
104 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"That you, Scott?" demanded the other.
"Say, Scott, gimme a ride, will you?
Groin' as far as Lonesomeville ?"
"What you doin' out this time o' night ?"
"Lookin' for a feller that tried to steal
Mr. Austin's horses. We thought we had
him cornered up to the place, but he got
away somehow. But we'll get him. Davis
has got fifty men scouring the country, I
bet. I been sent on to Lonesomeville to
head him off if he tries to take a train. He's
a purty desperate character, they say, too,
Scott. Say, gimme a lift as far as you're
agoin', won't you?"
THE DAY OF THE DOG 105
**I — I — well, I reckon so," floundered the
"Really, this is getting a bit serious,"
whispered Crosby to his breathless com-
The deputy was now on the seat with
Higgins, and the latter, bewildered and dis-
mayed beyond expression, was urging his
horses into their fastest trot.
"How far is it to Lonesomeville ?" asked
"'Bout two mile."
"It'll rain before we get there," said the
"I'm not afeared of rain," said Higgins.
"What are you goin' over there this time
o' night for.?" asked the other. "You ain't
got much of a load."
106 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"I'm — I'm takin' some meat over to Mr.
"No; jest bacon," answered Scott, and
his two hearers in the wagon-bed laughed
"Not many people out a night like this,"
volunteered the deputy.
"That a tarpaulin you got in the back
of the bed.'' Jest saw it by the lightnin'."
"Got the bacon kivered to keep it from
gittin' wet 'n case it rains," hastily inter-
posed Scott. He was discussing within
himself the, advisability of knocking the
THE DAY OF THE DOG 107
deputy from the seat and whipping the
team into a gallop, leaving him behind.
"You don't mind my crawlin' under the
tarpaulin if it rains, do you, Scott?"
"There ain't no — no room under it,
Harry, an' I won't allow that bacon to git
wet under no consideration."
A generous though nerve-racking crash
of thunder changed the current of conver-
sation. It drifted from the weather imme-
diately, however, to a one-sided discussion
of the escaped horse thief.
"I guess he's a purty slick one," they
heard the deputy say. "Austin said he had
him dead to rights in his barn ! That big
108 THE DAY OF THE DOG
bulldog of his had him treed on a beam, but
when we got there, just after dark, the
darned cuss was gone, an' the dog was
trapped up in a box-stall. By thunder, it
showed how desperate the feller is. He evi-
dently come down from that beam an' jest
naturally picked that turrible bulldog up
by the neck an' throwed him over into the
"Have you got a revolver.'"' asked Hig-
"Sure! You don't s'pose I'd go up
against that kind of a man without a gun,
"Oh, goodness!" some one whispered in
"But he ain't armed," argued Higgins.
"If he'd had a gun don't you s'pose he'd
THE DAY OF THE DOG 109
shot that dog an' got away long before he
"That shows how much you know about
these crooks, Higgins," said the other
loftily. "He had a mighty good reason for
not shooting the dog."
"What was the reason.?"
"I don't know jest what it was, but any
darned fool ought to see that he had a rea-
son. Tllse why didn't he shoot? Course
he had a reason. But the funny part of the
whole thing is what has become of the
"That widder," responded the other,
and Crosby felt her arm harden. "I never
thought much o' that woman. You'd think
she owned the whole town of Dexter to see
110 THE DAY OF THE DOG
her paradin' around the streets, showin' off
her city clothes, an' all such stuff. They do
say she led George Delancy a devil of a
life, an' it's no wonder he died."
"The wretch !" came from the rear of the
"Well, she's up and skipped out with the
horse thief. Austin says she tried to pro-
tect him, and I guess they had a regular
family row over the affair. She's gone an'
the man's gone, an' it looks darned suspi-
cious. He was a good-lookin' feller, Austin
says, an' she's dead crazy to git another
man, I've heard. Dang me, it's jest as I
said to Davis : I wouldn't put it above her
to take up with this good-lookin' thief an*
skip off with him. Her husband's been
dead more'n two year, an' she's too darned
THE DAY OF THE DOG 111
purty to stay in strict mournin' longer'n
she has to "
But just then something strong, firm,
and resistless grasped his neck from behind,
and, even as he opened his mouth to gasp
out his surprise and alarm, a vise-like grip
shut down on his thigh, and then, he was
jerked backward, lifted upward, tossed out-
ward, falling downward. The wagon clat-
tered off in the night, and a tall man and a
woman looked over the side of the wagon-
bed and waited for the next flash of light-
ning to show them where the official gos-
siper had fallen. The long, blinding, flash
came, and Crosby saw the man as he picked
himself from the ditch at the roadside.
"Whip up, Higgins, and we'll leave him
so far behind he'll never catch us," cried
Crosby eagerly. The first drops of rain
112 THE DAY OF THE DOG
began to fall and Mrs. Delancy hurriedly
crawled beneath the tarpaulin, urging him
to follow at once. Another flash of light-
ning revealed the deputy, far back in the
road waving his hands frantically.
"I'm glad his neck isn't broken. Hurry
on, Mr. Higgins ; it is now more urgent
than ever that you save your bacon."
"'Tain't very comfortable ridin' for Mrs.
Delancy," apologized Higgins, his horses
in a lope.
"If the marshal asks you why you didn't
stop and help his deputy, just tell him that
the desperado held a pistol at your head
and commanded you to drive like the devil.
Holy mackerel, here comes the deluge!"
THE DAY OF THE DOG 113
An instant later he was under the tarpauHn,
crouching beside his fellow fugitive. Con-
versation was impossible, so great was the
noise of the rain-storm and the rattle of the
wagon over the hard pike. He did his best
to protect her from the jars and bumps
incident to the leaping and jolting of the
wagon, and both were filled with rejoicing
when Higgins shouted "Whoa!" to the
horses and brought the wild ride to an end.
"Where are we.?" cried Crosby, sticking
his head from beneath the tarpaulin.
"We're in the dump-shed of the grain
elevator, just across the track from the
"And the ride is over.?"
114 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"Yep. Did you get bumped much?"
"It was worse, a thousand times, than
sitting on the beam," bemoaned a sweet,
tired voice, and a moment later the two
refugees stood erect in the wagon, neither
quite sure that legs so tired and stiff could
serve as support.
"It was awful; wasn't it?" Crosby said,
stretching himself painfully.
"Are you not drenched to the skin, Mr.
Higgins?" cried Mrs. Delancy anxiously.
"How selfish of us not to have thought of
"Oh, that's all right. This gum coat
kept me purty dry."
He and Crosby assisted her from the
wagon, and, while the former gave his
THE DAY OF THE DOG 115
attention to the wet and shivering horses,
the latter took her arm and walked up
and down the dark shed with her.
"I think you are regretting the impulse
that urged you into this folly," he was say-
"If you persist in accusing me of faint-
heartedness, Mr. Crosby, I'll never speak to
you again," she said. "I cast my lot with
a desperado, as the deputy insinuated, and
I am sure you have not heard me bewail my
fate. Isn't it worth something to have one
day and night of real adventure.'* My gown
must be a sight, and I know my hair is just
dreadful, but my heart is gayer and bright-
er to-night than it has been in years."
"And you don't regret anything that has
116 THE DAY OF THE DOG
happened?" he asked, pressing her arm
ever so sHghtly.
"My only regret is that you heard what
the deputy said about me. You don't be-
lieve I am like that, do you?" There was
sweet womanly concern in her voice.
"I wish it were light enough to see your
face," he answered, his lips close to her ear.
*'I know you are blushing, and you must be
more beautiful — Oh, no, of course I don't
think you are at all as he painted you," he
concluded, suddenly checking himself and
answering the plaintive question he had
"Thank you, kind sir," she said lightly,
THE DAY OF THE DOG 117
but he failed not to observe the tinge of con-
fusion in the laugh that followed.
"If you'll watch the team, Mr. Crosby,"
the voice of Higgins broke in at this timely
juncture, "I'll run acrost to the depot an'
ast about the train."
"Much obliged, old man ; much obliged,"
returned Crosby affably. "Are you afraid
to be alone in the dark?" he asked, as Hig-
gins rushed out into the rain. The storm
had abated by this time and there was but
the faintest suggestion of distant thunder
and lightning, the after-fall of rain being
little more than a drizzle.
"Awfully," she confessed, "but it's safer
here than on the beam," she added, and his
118 THE DAY OF THE DOG
heart grew very tender as he detected the
fatigue in her voice. "Anyhow, we have
the papers safely signed."
"Mrs. Delancy, I — I swear that you
shall never regret this day and night," he
said, stopping in his walk and placing his
hands on her shoulders. She caught her
breath quickly. "Do you know what I
"I — I think — I'm not quite sure," she
"You will know some day," he said
When Mr. Higgins appeared at the end
of the shed, carrying a lighted lantern, he
saw a tall young man and a tall young
woman standing side by side, awaiting his
THE DAY OF THE DOG 119
approach with the unconcern of persons
who have no interest in common.
"Ah, a lantern," cried Crosby. "Now
we can see what we look like and — and who
Higgins informed them that an east-
bound passenger train went through in
twenty minutes, stopping on the side track
to allow west-bound No. 7 to pass. This
train also took water near the bridge which
crossed the river just west of the depot. The
west-bound train was on time, the other
about five minutes late. He brought the wel-
come news that the rain was over and that a
few stars were peeping through the western
sky. There was unwelcome news, however,
in the statement that the mud was ankle
120 THE DAY OF THE DOG
deep from the elevator to the station plat-
form and that the washing out of a street
culvert would prevent him from using the
"I don't mind the mud," said Mrs.
Delancy, very bravely indeed.
"My dear Mrs. Delancy, I can and will
carry you a mile or more rather than have
one atom of Lonesomeville mud bespatter
those charming boots of yours," said
Crosby cheerfully, and her protestations
were useless against the argument of both
The distance was not great from the
sheds to the station and was soon covered.
Crosby was muddy to his knees, but his fair
passenger was as dry as toast when he
lowered her to the platform.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 121
"You are every bit as strong as the hero
in the modern novel," she said gaily.
"After this, I'll believe every word the
author says about his stalwart, indomitable
To say that Higgins was glad to be
homeward bound would be putting it too
mildly. The sigh of relief that came from
him as he drove out of town a few minutes
later was so audible that he heard it himself
and smiled contentedly. If he expected to
meet the unlamented Harry Brown on the
home trip, he was to be agreeably disap-
pointed. Mr. Brown was not on the road-
way. He was, instead, on the depot plat-
form at Lonesomeville, and when the
westbound express train whistled for the
station he was standing grimly in front of
122 THE DAY OF THE DOG
two dumbfounded young people who sat
sleepily and unwarily on a baggage truck.
The feeble-eyed lantern sat on the plat-
form near Crosby's swinging feet, and the
picture that it looked upon was one sugges-
tive of the cheap, sensational, and blood-
curdling border drama. A mud-covered
man stood before the trapped fugitives, a
huge revolver in his hand, the muzzle of
which, even though it wobbled painfully,
was uncomfortably close to Mr. Crosby's
"Throw up your hands !" said Brown, his
hoarse voice shaking perceptibly. Crosby's
hands went up instantly, for he was a man
and a diplomat.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 123
"Point it the other way !" cried the lady,
with true feminine tact. "How dare you!
— Oh, will it go off? Please, please put it
away ! We won't try to escape !"
"Pm takin' no chances on this feller,"
said Brown grimly. "It won't go off,
ma'am, unless he makes a move to git
"What do you want.-"' demanded Crosby
indignantly. "My money.'' Take it, if
you like, but don't be long about it."
"I'm no robber, darn you."
"Well, what in thunder do you mean then
124 THE DAY OF THE DOG
by holding me up at the point of a revol-
"I'm an officer of the law an' I arrest
you. That's what I'm here for," said
"Arrest me.f"' exclaimed Crosby in great
amazement. "What have I done.'"'
"No back talk now, young feller. You're
the man we're after, an' it won't do you
any good to chew the rag about it."
"If you don't turn that horrid pistol
away, I'll faint," cried femininity in col-
lapse. Crosby's arm went about her waist
and she hid her terror-stricken eyes on his
"Keep that hand up !" cried Brown
"Don't be mean about it, old man. Can't
THE DAY OF THE DOG 125
you see that my arm is not at all danger-
"I've got to search you."
"Search me? Well, I guess not. Where
is your authority?"
"I'm a deputy marshal from Dexter."
"Have you been sworn in, sir?"
"Aw, that's all right now. No more rag
chewin' out of you. That'll do you! Keep
your hands up !"
"What am I charged with ?"
"Attempted horse stealin', an' you know
"Have you a warrant? What is my
"That'll do you now ; that'll do you."
*'See here, my fine friend, you've made
a sad mistake. I'm not the man you want.
I'm ready to go to jail, if you insist, but it
will cost you every dollar you have in the
126 THE DAY OF THE DOG
world. I'll make you pay dearly for call-
ing an honest man a thief, sir." Crosby's
indignation was beautifully assumed and it
"Mr. Austin is the man who ordered your
arrest," he explained. "I know Mrs.
Delancy here all right, an' she left
Austin's with you."
"What are you talking about, man?
She is my cousin and drove over here thia
evening to see me between trains. I think
you'd better lower your gun, my friend.
This will go mighty hard with you."
"He has you confused with that horse
thief who said his name was Crosby, Tom,"
THE DAY OF THE DOG 127
said she, pinching his arm deHghtedly.
"He was the worst-looking brute I ever
saw. I thought Mr. Austin had him so
secure with the bulldog as guardian. Did
"Yes, an' you went with him," exclaimed
Brown, making a final stand. "An' I know
all about how you come over here in Scott
Higgins's wagon too."
"The man is crazy!" exclaimed Mrs.
"He may have escaped from the asylum
up north of here," whispered Crosby, loud
enough for the deputy to hear.
"Here comes the train," cried she. "Now
we can ask the train men to disarm him and
128 THE DAY OF THE DOG
send him back to the asylum. Isn't it awful
that such dangerous people can be at
Brown lowered his pistol as the engine
thundered past. The pilot was almost in
the long bridge at the end of the depot
when the train stopped to wait for the east-
bound express to pass. The instant that
Brown's revolver arm was lowered and his
head turned with uncertainty to look at the
train, Crosby's hand went to his coat pock-
et, and when the deputy turned toward him
again he found himself looking into the
shiny, glittering barrel of a pistol.
"Throw that gun away, my friend,"
said Crosby in a low tone, "or I'll blow your
THE DAY OF THE DOG 129
**Great Scott!" gasped Brown.
"Throw it away !"
"Don't kill him," pleaded Mrs, Delancy.
Brown's knees were shaking like leaves and
his teeth chattered. His revolver sailed
through the air and clattered on the brick
pavement beyond the end of the plat-
"Don't shoot," he pleaded, ready to drop
to his knees.
"I won't if you are good and kind and
obliging," said Crosby sternly. "Turn
around — face the engine. That's right.
Now listen to me. I've got this pistol
jammed squarely against your back, and if
you make a false move — well, you won't
130 THE DAY OF THE DOG
have time to regret it. Answer my ques-
tions too. How long is that bridge.?"
"I — I do — don't kno — ow."
"It's rather long, isn't it.?"
"With the fill and trestle it's nearly half
"What is the next stop west of here for
"Hopville, forty mile west."
"Where does the east-bound train stop
next after leaving here?"
"It don't stop till it gits over in
Indiana, thirty mile or more."
"I'm much obliged to you. Now walk
straight ahead until you come to the blind
end of the mail car."
At the front end of the mail car Crosby
THE DAY OF THE DOG 131
and his prisoner halted. Every one knows
that the head end of the coach just back of
the engine tender is "blind." That is, there
is no door leading to the interior, and one
must stand outside on the narrow platform
if, perchance, he is there when the train
starts. As the east-bound train pulled in
from the bridge, coming to a stop on the
track beyond the west-bound train, Crosby
commanded his erstwhile captor to climb
aboard the blind end of the mail
"Geewhillikers, don't make me do that,"
groaned the unhappy Brown.
"Get aboard and don't argue. You can
come back to-morrow, you know, and you're
perfectly safe if you stay awake and don't
132 THE DAY OF THE DOG
roll off. Hurry up! If you try to jump
off before you reach the bridge I'll shoot."
A moment later the train pulled into the
bridge and Crosby hurried back to his anx-
ious companion. Brown was on his way to
a station forty miles west, and he did not
dare risk jumping off. By the time the
train reached the far end of the bridge it
was running forty miles an hour.
"Where is he?" she cried in alarm as he
rushed with her across the intervening space
to the coveted "east-bound."
"I'll tell you all about it when we get
inside this train," he answered. "I think
Brown is where he can't telegraph to head
us off any place along the line, and if we
once get into Indiana we are comparatively
safe. Up you go !" and he lifted her up the
TKE DAY OF THE DOG 133
"Safe," she sighed, as they dropped into
a seat in a coach.
"I'm ashamed to mention it, my dear ac-
complice, but are you quite sure you have
your purse with you? With the usual luck
of a common thief, I am penniless."
"Penniless because you gave your for-
tune to the cause of freedom," she supple-
mented, fumbling in her chatelaine bag for
her purse. "Here it is. The contents are
yours until the end of our romance."
The conductor took fare from him to
Lafayette and informed the mud-covered
gentleman that he could get a train from
that city to Chicago at 2:30 in the morn-
"We're all right now," said Crosby after
the conductor had passed on. "You are
134 THE DAY OF THE DOG
tired, little woman. Lie back and go to
sleep. The rough part of the adventure is
almost over." He secured a pillow for her,
and she was soon resting as comfortably as
it was possible in the day coach of a pas-
For many minutes he sat beside her, his
eyes resting on the beautiful tired face with
its closed eyes, long lashes, pensive mouth,
and its frame of dark hair, disarranged and
"It's strange," he thought, almost aloud,
"how suddenly it comes to a fellow. Twelve
hours ago I was as free as a bird in the air,
and now "
" 'good HEAVENS !' 'wHATISIT?' HE CRIED. S'OU ARE
NOT MARRIED, ARE VOU ?' "
THE DAY OF THE DOG 135
Just then her eyes opened widely with a
start, as if she had suddenly come from a
rather terrifying dream. They looked
squarely into his, and he felt so abashed
that he was about to turn away when, with
a little catch in her voice, she exclaimed:
"Good heavens !"
"What is it?" he cried.
"You are not married, are you.'"'
"NO! ! !"
Like a culprit caught she blushed furi-
ously, and her eyes wavered as the lids
fell, shutting from his eager, surprised
gaze the prettiest confusion in the
136 THE DAY OF THE DOG
"I — It just occurred to me to ask," she
Crosby's exhilaration was so great that,
after a long, hungry look at the peaceful
face, he jumped up and went out into the
vestibule, where he whistled with all the
ardor of a school-boy. When he returned
to his seat beside her she was awake, and the
little look of distress left her face when he
appeared, a happy smile succeeding.
"I thought you had deserted me," she
"Perish the thought."
"Mr. Crosby, if you had a pistol all the
time we were in the barn, why did you not
shoot the dog and free us hours before you
did.^*" she asked sternly.
THE DAY OF THE DOG 137
"I had no pistol," he grinned. From his
pocket he drew a nickel-plated menthol in-
haler and calmly leveled it at her head. "It
looked very much like a pistol in the dark-
ness," he said, "and it deserves a place
among the cherished relics descending from
The next night two happy, contented
persons sat in a brilliant Chicago theatre,
and there was nothing in their appearance
to indicate that the day and night before
had been the most strenuous in their lives.
"This is more comfortable than a cross
beam in a barn," she smiled.
"But it is more public," he responded.
Three months later — but Crosby won
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PS McCutcheon, George Barr
3525 The day of the dog